Extract from Dishoom: From Bombay With Love by Shamil And Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir (Bloomsbury Publishing). Photography by Haarala Hamilton
This is Naved’s special dish at Dishoom Covent Garden. It’s a light, fragrant and utterly delicious south-Indian-style curry, packed with juicy prawns and tempered with coconut milk. Although it looks impressive, it is actually very easy to make, so you can serve it either as a week-night supper or as an indulgent dinner.
We serve it with idiyappam, the white, lacy noodle pancakes, also known as stringhoppers. If you can’t get these, it goes just as well with steamed rice.
– 6 green chillies
– 55ml vegetable oil
– 2 tsp mustard seeds
– 30 fresh curry leaves
– 300g Spanish white onions, sliced (a little chunky is good)
– 15g garlic paste (page 353)
– 15g ginger paste (page 353)
– 2 tsp fine sea salt
– 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
– 1¼ tsp ground turmeric
– 25g fresh root ginger, cut into matchsticks
– 400ml coconut milk
– 250ml coconut cream
– 24 large prawns
– 300g medium tomatoes, cut into small bite-sized wedges
– Lemon wedges
1. Remove and discard the stalks from the chillies, then slice each one into 3 or 4 long strips. Set to one side.
2. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add 40ml of the oil, let it warm for a few seconds, then add the mustard seeds and 20 curry leaves. Let them crackle for a few seconds.
3. Add the onions and sauté lightly for 12–14 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
4. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, salt, black pepper
and turmeric and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sliced chillies and ginger matchsticks and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and cream and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. While the curry is simmering, place a small frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Toss in the rest of the curry leaves and fry for 1 minute, until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
7. Add the prawns and tomatoes to the sauce and simmer gently for a further 5–6 minutes, until the prawns are cooked; do not overcook or they will be tough.
8. Serve scattered with the fried curry leaves, with lemon wedges on the side.
Note: If you’d like to prepare the dish in advance, make the sauce (up to and including step 5), chill and refrigerate, then reheat and continue from step 6 just before serving.